On Sunday morning I went down to the beach at 6 am to see the sunrise. Jordan and I planned on going surfing immediately after.

It was absolutely beautiful, and every minute the colors had completely shifted from the minute before. That said, it was also freezing. I don’t mean freezing by California standards, I mean the weather app said it was 45-degrees-feels-like-35.

At 7, when the colors were fading into that early morning yellow glow, we reevaluated our plan. Did we really want to get into the water when the air around us was 35 degrees?

I’ve been surfing many times this year, and I am never successful. Learning to ride the waves is a dream of mine, but usually it feels like it’s just not in the cards for me. On this day my goal felt particularly hopeless. If I wasn’t a good surfer in September when it was 80 degrees and beautiful, what makes me think I’ll suddenly be able to do it when my entire body is numb from the cold?

I sat there feeling dejected for a few minutes. I really wanted to surf, but honestly, I was scared. IT WAS SO COLD. What if I put myself through all of that discomfort just to fail again? Eventually, I slipped on my wetsuit (crying when I had to take off my sweatshirt and the cold air hit me) and ran into the ocean. Soon Jordan was in with me, and the surfboard was leashed to my ankle.

Yes, I fell off a few times. I got tossed around a little bit, and I couldn’t feel my toes. But you know what friends? I stood up on that surfboard for the first time ever. It might’ve only lasted for a few seconds, but I got up! If I had stayed scared and seated on the beach, I wouldn’t have hit that milestone in this goal of mine.

The experience I had on Sunday is a very cheesy metaphor for life. How is God supposed to teach us and change us if we won’t even leave the beach??? We desire to be grown into new creations, and yet we resist entering situations that would facilitate growth because they’re uncomfortable. (Or in this case, just really cold.)

This week, I challenge you to say yes to God in a new way and be willing to leave the beach so that He can grow you. Put fear aside, and jump in.

A small group leader said the following quote to me at the beginning of the year, and I didn’t fully understand it until now:

When in doubt, just paddle out.


What are you saying yes to, even when it scares you? Let me know in the comments.

Lots of love,